The letter sent by Sir John Major to the Daily Telegraph on 5 November 2022.
SIR – I, and many others, have voiced our disquiet and dismay over some of the scenes which we are told are depicted in the forthcoming season of The Crown.
Netflix may well take the view that any publicity is good publicity. But I assure them it is not – most especially when it disrespects the memory of those no longer alive, or puts words into the mouths of those still living and in no position to defend themselves. Fiction should not be paraded as fact.
I have not seen the forthcoming series, but have been told by those who have that there are scenes depicted which I know to be utterly untrue, and will be profoundly hurtful to a family who are still grieving for the very person on whose life the entire drama was founded.
I gather Netflix continues to refuse to put out a disclaimer at the very top of the opening credits, on the basis that “everyone knows this is a drama series”. But this is simply not good enough. If everyone knows, why not acknowledge that? Without such action, many millions – around the world – could still be influenced by a damaging and fictional script, which claims “authority” by being interspersed with historical fact.
Entertainment is a great and glorious industry that brings enormous pleasure to many millions. Netflix should not demean it with portrayals which are both injurious and untrue.
Sir John Major